The biker, killed during police firing at the latter tried to crowd control on a Delhi street, barely few hundred metres from Parliament Street, is a terrible loss. Stunt bikers have become a common sight on the capital streets, doing perilously dangerous feats on the road and putting other commuters to risk. The confrontation with the police, although necessary, has caused grievous injury to the family that has lost a son. Yet, that does not take away from the fact that the police resorted to shooting as a way to contain the biking group, instead of using other non-lethal ways.
Apparently, reports of stone-pelting have come to the fore, suggesting that the police had no choice but to take to their guns, even though that was intended to puncture the speeding bikers’ motorcycle tyres. Evidently, the police have not been trained adequately in the use of guns, for the misfiring couldn’t have been caused by a well-trained cop shooter. The bullet had hit the young biker on his back and the 19-year-old succumbed to his injuries at the hospital to which he was taken.
While it needs to be debated whether stunt biking is a menace to the fellow commuters on the city streets, what is more than obvious that the police is still woefully ill-equipped to tackle the new forms of quasi-criminalities and expressions of aggressive masculine behaviour that are coming out in the open. Youth gangs and their activities, nocturnal or diurnal, need to be understood better and not simply trashed as nuisance, juvenile transgressions or crimes.
However, that being said, stunt biking in Delhi, where speed limits are not suited for such activities, is akin to inviting grave danger, not only to the biker himself, but also to everyone else on the road. Pillion-riding on a street with a drunk motorcyclist at the dead of night and pelting stones at poor constables are surely not the brightest ways of adolescent and energetic self-expressions. Nevertheless, this completely avoidable tragedy is perhaps a wake up call for both the keepers of law and order and the youth who ride the mean streets in